Stephen Curry was asked a couple months ago what he would do if the Golden State Warriors won the NBA championship and the traditional invitation to visit the White House was on the table.
“I think I answered I wouldn’t (go), and I still feel like that today,” Curry said Wednesday. “But obviously as a team we’re going to have a conversation.”
Curry said there had been “side conversations” before winning the championship but a team decision has yet to be made.
The Donald Trump administration has inspired many athletes to express their political views, largely in disagreement with the 45th president of the United States. The Warriors could be the first team to skip meeting Trump altogether.
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Curry, a public supporter of former President Barack Obama, and others with the Warriors have been critical of Trump.
The NBA is as progressive as any sports league, having moved its 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte in protest of the so-called “bathroom law” that took away civil rights protections from gays. And the Warriors are one of its most progressive teams. So it comes as little surprise that they would consider not visiting the White House of a president whose politics have turned off many minorities and immigrants.
Throughout history, athletes have made statements during times of political and social controversy. In the 1960s, NBA players such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Russell were at the forefront of civil rights battles. Sprinters John Carlos and Tommie Smith raised gloved black fists during the national anthem during the 1968 Olympics.
Curry said he’d do “the right thing” for himself. He told the San Joe Mercury News in February, when Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank called the president an “asset” to America: “I agree with that description if you remove the ‘et.’ ”
Coach Steve Kerr, guard Shaun Livingston and forward David West are among those with the team who have expressed displeasure with Trump.
Livingston did not address what the team would do Wednesday, but said in a radio interview in February that he would not visit Trump and the White House.
“I’ve stated my feeling before,” Livingston said. “It’s documented, but at the end of the day we’ll talk about it as a team.”
Kevin Durant and Curry said they received messages from Obama after beating Cleveland on Monday.
“I got a nice little congratulatory message,” Curry said. “I like those messages; those are nice.”
As for Trump, Durant declined to share his thoughts.
“I have a take but I’m going to leave that to myself right now,” Durant said. “That’s not what’s important, my take on that, it’s about us celebrating a championship and we’ll move forward with that whenever we get a chance to.”
What the Warriors agree on now is they will enjoy celebrating their title. That includes Thursday’s parade.
“This is a moment we all need to enjoy together; nothing should distract from what we were able to accomplish together,” Curry said. “And different kinds of ceremonies and traditions that have happened around championship-winning teams, we don’t want that to taint what we’ve accomplished this year. We’ll handle that accordingly and responsibly and, like I said, do the right thing for us individually and as a group.”